Adverbial phrase
An adverbial phrase usually consists of two or more words: an adverb being the head word in an adverbial phrase plus other words, although it can consist of only one adverb. The adverbial phrase functions as an adverb in a sentence, and is often a prepositional phrase that modifies a verb, adjective, or adverb.  



  • He ate his ice cream in a disused phone booth.
    (The adverbial phrase in a disused phone booth modifies the verb ate.)
  • She seems happy with her puppies.
    (The adverbial phrase with her puppies modifies the adjective happy.)
  • Bob hates to wake up early on Monday morning.
    (The adverbial phrase on Monday morning modifies the adverb early.)


Adjective phrase
An adjective phrase (or adjectival phrase) is a group of words, whose head word is an adjective. It modifies or describes a noun or pronoun. The adjective phrase can be an attributive adjective coming before a noun or a predicative adjective coming after the noun that it modifies in a sentence. As a predicate adjective, it follows a verb or linking verb after the noun.



  • The hotel restaurant serves really delicious meals. (Attributive adjective phrase)
  • The air was filled with the fresh scent of flowers. (Predicative adjective phrase)
  • Everyone knows she is angry with you. (Predicative adjective phrase modifies pronoun.)

An adjective phrase may be preceded by a determiner or a modifier.

  • Everyone knows she is very angry with you. (Adjective phrase modified by very.)


Adjective complement
An adjective complement is a phrase, usually a prepositiional phrase, or a clause, usually a noun clause, that modifies an adjective or provides information to complete the meaning of an adjective phrase. If the complement consists of only one word, it is very likely to be an adjective.



Prepositional phrase as adjective complement

  • She was worried about her sick dog.
  • His girlfriend was quite annoyed by his remarks.

Noun clause as adjective complement

  • Her parents are very happy she is finally married.
  • Both sides are hopeful that a peaceful solution will be fround.

Infinitive phrase as adjective complement

  • She was only too glad to escape from the conversation.
  • The residents are getting ready to protest.


An appositive is a noun or noun phrase that is placed next, usually after, another noun to rename or identify it. 
Complete sentence without appositive: Their history professor is quite absent-minded.
Complete sentence with appositive: Their history professor, Frances, is quite absent-minded.
(By adding the appositive Frances, it renames the professor which can be of help as there may be more than one history professor at the particular place.)
Complete sentence without appositive: Edward Ward is being sought by the police to assist in the investigation.
Complete sentence with appositive: Edward Ward, a completely bald man in early middle age, is being sought by the police to assist in the investigation.
(The appositive in the last example – in bold – identifies the noun Edward Ward by providing more information about him.)
More examples with appositives in bold


  • His pet fish, a goldfish, is a gift from his girlfriend.
  • Alice, Tom’s only sister, has graduated with a degree in taxidermy.
  • A big fat woman with double chins, Ava is trying hard to cut out the foods that are making her fat.
  • We have been going to the nightclub to listen to Anthony, a folk singer confined to a wheelchair.
Appositive phrase

An appositive phrase is a noun or pronoun with a modifier. It is placed immediately before or immediately after a noun or pronoun that it renames or identifies.


  • Bobby, his twin brother, died on the same day as he.
    (The appositive phrase his twin brother follows the noun Bobby that it identifies.)
  • A head chef in a London hotel, George is the only son in a family of five daughters.
    (The appositive phrase a head chef in a London hotel precedes the noun George that it modifies.)


In identifying a noun in a sentence, an appositive phrase is providing more information about the noun. The information may or may not be essential to the meaning of the sentence. When the information is essential, no commas are used to set off the appositive phrase. If the information is nonessential, commas are used before and after the appositive phrase, as the sentence is complete and clear without it.



  • The famous singer Carole King is an American composer and singer-songwriter.
    (No commas are use to enclose the appositive Carole King as the information is essential. Without the appositive Carole King, there would be no idea which famous singer is being referred to: The famous singer is an American composer and singer-songwriter.)
  • Carole King, the famous singer, is an American composer and singer-songwriter. 
    (Commas are used to enclose the appositive Carole King as the information is not essential. Without the appositive phrase the famous singer, the sentence is clear as to who the subject Carole King is: an American composer and singer-songwriter.)



Aspect of Verb 
All verbs have both tense and aspect. Each tense is subdivided into aspects. The different combinations of tenses and aspects make possible aspects such as continuous (progressive), perfect, and perfect continuous. These aspects tell us whether the actions are continuous, completed, or both continuous and completed.
Since verbs have three tenses (presentpastfuture) and four aspects, their combinations make possible twelve different forms as follow:
Simple aspect: simple present, Simple past,
Simple future Continuous aspect: present continuous, past continuous, future continuous
Perfect aspect: present perfect, past perfect, future perfect

Perfect continuous aspect: present perfect continuous, past perfect continuous, future perfect continuous  


Auxiliary verb
An auxiliary verb is a verb that is used with a main verb to form a verb phrase. The auxiliary verb be is used in continuous forms and to form passive verb phrases. The auxiliary verb have is used in perfect tenses. The auxiliary verb do is used mostly in questions and negative clauses. Do is also used to show emphasis.  
Be is an auxiliary verb as well as a main verb. The present tense forms of be are am, is, and are, and the past tense forms are was and were.  As an auxiliary verb, be is used in continuous tenses and passive statements. As a main verb, be may be followed by a complement which is either an adjective or a noun phrase.